Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, students across the country will still have to deal with alternative learning modalities that centers on self-learning modules and online platforms for the second straight scool year. As of September 2021, the Philippines is one of only six countries in the world that are yet to reopen schools and resume face-to-face classes since the health crisis began.
Because of this, various volunteer organizations like Reconnect PH have been established nationwide to support students that are in need of help in meeting the demands of the online learning set-up. Sharra Crizel Elep, Reconnect PH 2020’s Project Coordinator, told The Filipino Scribe that her tough experiences as a student inspired her to start the initiative:
“I was fortunate enough to survive college with helpful people and I think that’s what fueled me to give back to anyone who needs it. I know what it feels like to be a student who lacks resources and I want them to know that someone is always ready to help and, hopefully, this would fuel them as well to help others,” Elep said, noting that there were times before when she had to ask friends to open her students’ portal just so she can enroll in the subjects because she couldn’t afford to buy one immediately.
Reconnect PH started helping students-in-need for school year 2020-2021, and their beneficiaries have shared how the project helped them. Axl Rose De Mesa, now a sophomore Bachelor of Arts in Art Studies student at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, is one of those. “One year ago, I was undecided about entering college in the midst of this pandemic. By the time I learned that I passed the Talent Determination Test for my course, the application deadline for scholarships has already passed,” he said.
De Mesa added that although he is earning from doing commissions and joining competitions, it is not enough to cover his daily expenses. “As a self-supporting student, Reconnect PH helped me meet the needs for my online classes. Their support helped me earn general weighted average of 1.30 during the first semester and 1.35 during the second semester,” he shared.
For her part, Christel Angela Verdad, a Marketing Management student from National University in Manila, is another beneficiary. According to her, she found herself suffocated by worries, doubts, and uncertainties in being able to continue her studies during a pandemic. Thankfully, Reconnect PH lent her a helping hand.
“I am beyond grateful and blessed that God used Reconnect PH to help me continue my studies and have another chance to pursue my dreams. Reconnect PH enabled me to attend my classes and do my assignments and activities. Because of their program, I can still attend classes and acquire the knowledge I needed to prepare myself as a future marketing professional,” Verdad said. She added that the project inspired her to also become an instrument in helping her fellow students who are in great need in the future.
Given the initiative’s success during school year 2020-2021, Jamie Nicole Millan, Reconnect PH 2021’s project manager, said that they intend to continue this through this new academic year. “Reconnect PH plans to give load assistance to 15 beneficiaries for 5 months, made possible by its donation drives and fundraising activities, Millan said.
“Through the load assistance, Reconnect PH team aims to help the chosen students continue their education without worrying on how they can attend their classes, submit requirements, and receive their education. Should the amount raised exceed the target, the duration of the assistance will be extended to cover the whole year,” she added.
Interested parties may reach out to Reconnect PH through their Facebook page, Twitter (@ReconnectPH), and Instagram (@reconnect.ph) accounts. They may also send their donations through:
The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines.
Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media.
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